Comedian Frankie Boyle sues Daily Mirror over racism claim

Frankie Boyle on Never Mind The Buzzcocks

Comic angry over article that called him racist and claimed he was 'forced' to quit Mock the Week

LAST UPDATED AT 15:54 ON Mon 15 Oct 2012

CONTROVERSIAL comedian Frankie Boyle is suing the Daily Mirror after it branded him "racist" and claimed that he was "forced" to quit the television panel show Mock the Week in 2009.

Boyle, who has offended a legion of celebrities including Katie Price and Rebecca Adlington with his unflinching brand of bad-taste humour, has taken action over an article that appeared in the paper on 19 July this year, suggesting he could be about to make a TV comeback.

The piece opened with the line: "Racist comedian Frankie Boyle could soon be returning to TV despite upsetting thousands of viewers with his sick jokes." It went on to say he was in talks with Channel 4 about a new series similar to Mock the Week, the BBC2 programme on which he made his name.

Within weeks of the story appearing it was reported that Channel 4 had "washed their hands" of Boyle, after a series of controversial tweets about athletes during the Paralympics that caused yet more controversy.

Boyle hinted that something was afoot yesterday when he told his one million Twitter followers: "I'm afraid I must disappear from Twitter for a while. See you on the other side of this thing."

The Mirror, on its website, said: "We are defending this claim on the basis of truth and fair comment."

The BBC reports that the trial at the High Court in London is expected to last a week.

News of the court case caused debate on Twitter, where many people expressed surprise that Boyle would take legal action, and many accused him of double standards claiming he liked to dish out insults but could not take them. But his lawyer David Sherborne told the court: "Calling him vile and offensive is one thing. It goes with the territory. But accusing him of being a racist is an entirely different matter."

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How come Boyle can give it but can't take it? I hope wider enquiries into the Savile affair will look into how he gets away with eg paedophilia jokes.

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